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Josephine Pui-Hing Wong

Josephine Pui-Hing Wong

Professor, Research Chair in Urban Health
DepartmentDaphne Cockwell School of Nursing
EducationRN, BScN, MScN, PhD
OfficeDCC-580-B, Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 556303
Areas of ExpertiseCritical public health/urban health Equity; Social identities and health practices; Structural violence and health inequities; Community-engaged responses to pandemics; Community-based action research; Stigma, HIV, and mental health; Intervention research/implementation science.

Josephine Pui-Hing Wong has extensive experience in critical public health and urban health, including the development of public health access and equity policy and practice frameworks, and large-scale health communication campaigns. She collaborates with marginalized communities to develop, implement and evaluate capacity-building health promotion and collective empowerment programs.   

Josephine see students as active learners with lived experiences that inform their personal-professional-political perspectives and practices. Her teaching focuses on community health nursing and people-centered urban health promotion, with an emphasis on making visible historical and current structural violence, systemic racism, and other oppressions that result in preventable social and health disparities. In addition to her assigned teaching, she collaborates with community partners to establish community-campus critical learning circles that bring together community members, service providers, and students to engage in critical dialogue, knowledge exchange and collaborative writing. She also supervises and mentors research trainees at the master, doctoral and post-doctoral levels.  

Josephine’s program of research is underpinned by the principles of social justice and equity. She is committed to doing research “with” and not “for” the affected communities.  She seeks to answer the “so what” and “what then” questions in all her research. Being mindful of the need and urgency to go beyond understanding specific phenomena about health inequities, she works closely with the affected communities to develop socially innovative solutions that promote collective resilience and social change. Her areas of research include: social identities and health practices; HIV, sexual health, and mental health in diasporic and transnational communities. She has led and is leading numerous intervention studies on stigma reduction and mental health promotion in the Asian, Black and Latinx communities in Canada as well as among university students in China. Currently, she is leading a rapid response research to mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID19 pandemic. Her research is supported by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN), the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), the Movember Foundation, Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD), New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF), Funds For Innovation and Transformation (FIT), and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Teaching Responsibilities:

  • UH9010: Theories and Concepts in Urban Health
  • MN8931: Diversity and Globalization: Promoting Urban Health
  • MN8000: Thesis
  • NSE31A/B: Community Health Nursing
  • NSE306: Leadership and Change

Teaching Interests:

  • Critical Urban health/critical public health 
  • Social justice and health equity
  • Qualitative research methodology
  • Intervention design and evaluation 
  • Knowledge translation and exchange
  • 2023-2023 Co-Lead Immigrant Health & Wellness Theme. Migrant Integration in the mid-21st Century: Bridging Divides (Multi-institution Research Program), funded by the Canada First Research Excellent Fund ($98.6M / 7 years). Nominator PA: Steven Liss; Scientific Co-Directors: Anna Triandaflyllidou; Ebrahim Bagheri.
  • 2023-2025 Co-Principal Investigator: Promoting Cervical Cancer Screening Through HPV Self-Sampling in Marginalized and Underprivileged Women in Toronto, funded by Shoppers Drug Mart Community Grant Program ($100,000). Nominated PI: M. Vahabi.
  • 2023-2024 Co-Principal Investigator: Culturally Safe and Accessible Digital Mental Health Interventions for Newcomer Youth in Canada’s Asian Diasporic Communities, funded by CIHR Planning and Dissemination Grants ($24,963). Nominated PI: Rui Hou (Postdoc Fellow).
  • 2022-2024 Co-Principal Investigator: HIV-Response Intergenerational Participation (HIP) Intervention Among ACB Population in Ontario, Canada, funded CIHR CBR Catalyst Grant ($100,000). Nominated PI: E. Etowa; Co-PI: P. Boakye; R. Antabe.
  • 2022-2024 Co-Principal Investigator: Compounding Disadvantage: Impact of COVID-19 among Immigrants living with Cancers and with Mental Health & Addictions Disorders in Ontario, funded by CIHR Operating Grant ($426,640). Nominated PI: M. Vahabi.
  • 2022-2024 Co-Principal Investigator: Promoting Mental Health and Reducing HIV Risk Behaviours through Self-compassion, Mindful Acceptance & Resilience Transformation (SMART): An Evidence-informed Pilot Randomized Trial with Diaspora MENA Gay, Bisexual and Trans Youth in Ontario, funded by the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network ($50,000). Nominated PI: R. Hawa.
  • 2021-2024 Co-Applicant: Co-designing a Mobile Application with Immigrant Adolescents for Better Sexual and Reproductive Health, funded by CIHR Operating Grant: Early Career Investigators in Maternal, Reproductive, Child & Youth Health ($210,000). Nominate PI: S Meherali.  
  • 2022-2023 Co-Principal Investigator: Engaging Community Stakeholders to Address Vaccine Hesitancy in Racialized and Diasporic Communities, funded by CIHR Planning and Dissemination Grants ($24,963). Nominated PI: Rade Ziniac (Postdoc Fellow).
  • 2021-2023 Co-Investigator: Spaces Beyond Imagination: Therapeutic Virtual Reality Co-Creation For Community Empowerment Through Architecture, funded by New Frontiers in Research Fund Exploration Grant ($250,000). Nominated PI: L. Zhang
  • 2020-2022 Nominated Principal Investigator: PROTECH - Pandemic Rapid-response Optimization To Enhance Community-resilience and Health, funded by CIHR in partnership with Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) through the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) ($500,000). Co-PIs: K. Fung, A. Li, M. Vahabi.
  • 2020-2022 Co-Principal Investigator: Beyond Blue Door-Evaluating interventions to bridge knowledge and service gaps for people with HIV with precarious or no health insurance coverage, funded by Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) ($250,000). Nominated PI: A. Li, Co-PI: M. Vahabi.  
  • 2021-2021 Co-Principal Applicant: Pandemic Acceptance & Commitment to Empowerment Response Intervention for Frontline Healthcare Providers (PACER-HCP), funded by MSH-UHN AMO Innovation Fund ($269,668). Nominated PI: K. Fung, Co-PI: M. Zurowski.
  • 2020-2021 Supervisor: Evaluation of Resiliency in Community Youth Empowerment Programs, funded by Mitacs Elevate and Hong Fook Mental Health Association ($60,000). Post-doctoral Fellow: Jing Wen (Jenny) Liu; Co-supervisor: K. Fung
  • 2020-2021 Co-Principal Investigator: Preventing Cervical Cancer in India through self-sampling, funded by Funds For Innovation and Transformation (FIT) ($250,000/15 months). Nominated PI: M. Vahabi; Co-PI: A. Lofters
  • 2018-2019 Supervisor: Evaluation measurements for an E-Learning Occupational Mental Health Program, funded by Mitacs-Accelerate and MacroMind Media ($30,000). Doctoral fellow: Jing Wen (Jenny) Liu
  • 2018-2020 Co-Principal Investigator: Fractured Families, Fractured Communities: Comparing the Lived Experiences of Temporary Foreign Workers and Indigenous People Relocating from Rural To Urban Areas In Canada, funded by SSHRC Insight Development Grants ($69,143). Nominated PI: Andrea A. Cortinois; Co-PIs: D. Gastaldo; S. Stewart (Toronto).
  • 2017-2022 Nominated Principal Investigator: Linking Hearts: Advancing Mental Health Care of University Students Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration: An Implementation Research at Universities in Jinan, Shandong, China, funded by CIHR & NSFC GACD Mental Health: CIHR-NSFC Canada-China Team Grant, $1.147 million (for Canadian team from CIHR), ¥5 million /CDN $1.075 million (for Chinese team from NSFC [National Natural Science Foundation of China]). Canadian Team: Co-Principal Investigators: A. Li, K. Fung, M. Vahabi, K.T. Tsang, M. C. Yan. Chinese Team: Nominated Principal Investigator: C.X. Jia; Co-Principal Investigators: J. Gao; S. Cheng; X. Cong; S. Wu
  • 2017-2022 Co-Investigator: The CIHR CBR Collaborative: A Program of REACH, funded by CIHR ($1.5 million). Nominated PI: S.B. Rourke
  • 2017-2022 Co-Principal Implementation Consultant & Evaluator: CHAMPS in Action: Advancing Community Health through Evidence-Based HIV Stigma Interventions, funded by Public Health Agency of Canada ($2.5 million). Co-Principal Implementation Consultant & Evaluator: A. Li.
  • 2015-2016 Co-Principal Investigator: Supporting the Supporters: Promoting Resilience Among PHA Service Providers, funded by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Community-based Research and Evaluation Grant ($25,000). Nominated PI: Dr. Alan Li (Toronto)
  • 2014-2020 Nominated Principal Investigator: Reducing HIV Vulnerabilities and Promoting Resilience Among Self-Identified Heterosexual African, Caribbean and Black Men in Ontario, funded by CIHR Institute of Gender and Health – Boys’ & Men’s Health Team Grant ($1,499,925).  Co-PIs: Dr. W. Husbands (Toronto); Dr. F. Omorodion (Windsor); Dr. J. Etowa (Ottawa); and Dr. I. Luguinaah (London).
  • 2014-2015 Co-Investigator: Mental Health of Temporary Migrant Workers in Ontario, funded by RBC Immigrant Diversity and Inclusion Project ($9,000).  Nominated-PI: Dr. M. Vahabi (Toronto)
  • 2013-2018 Sole Applicant: Mobilizing Ethno-racial Minority and Newcomer Communities to Address HIV/STI Stigma and Reduce HIV Vulnerabilities, funded by Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) and Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Salary Award Program ($300,000).
  • 2013-2016 Co-Principal Investigator: Reducing Stigma Of Mental Illness Among Boys and Men In Asian Communities In Canada: An Innovative Intervention Study, funded by Movember Foundation ($3,000,000). Nominated PI: Dr. S. Guruge (Toronto); Co-PIs: Drs. K. Fung; K. Mckenzie; and S. Sidani (Toronto); Drs. D. Este and D. Lai (Calgary) and Dr. M. Morrow (Vancouver).
  • 2014-2015 Co-Investigator: The Story-Sharing for Sexual Health Among South Asian Women Study, funded by Women’s Exchange, Women’s College Hospital ($15,000). Nominated PI: V. Chikermane (Toronto)
  • 2014-2014 Nominated Principal Investigator: Reducing HIV Vulnerabilities and Promoting Resilience Among Self-Identified Heterosexual African, Caribbean and Black Men in Ontario, funded by CIHR Institute of Gender and Health, Letter of Intent Program ($10,000). Co-PIs: Dr. Winston Husbands (Toronto); Dr. F. Omorodion (Windsor); Dr. J. Etowa (Ottawa); and Dr. I. Luguinaah (London).
  • 2013-2014 Nominated Principal Investigator: Youth Engagement to Prevent HIV/STI and Promote Sexual Health Study (YEP Study), funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Catalyst Grant – HIV/AIDS CBR Program ($33,000).  Co-PIs: Drs. F. Fung; A. Li and M. Poon (Toronto).
  • 2013-2015 Principal Investigator: Promoting Emotional and Sexual Health of Young Asian Women Through Psycho-flexibility and Empowerment Interventions, funded by Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University ($5,000).
  • 2012-2013 Principal Applicant: Champions Across Boundaries: Voices of Ethno-racial Faith, Media, Social Justice and PHA Leaders Against HIV Stigma, funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), Café Scientifique Program ($3,000).
  • 2012-2013 Co-Investigator: Pathways to Resilience: An exploratory study on strength based approaches to HIV prevention and health promotion strategies amongst East and Southeast Asian men who have sex with men, funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Catalyst Grant – HIV/AIDS CBR Program ($33,000). Nominated PI: Dr. A. Li; Co-PIs: R. Utama and Dr. M. Poon (Toronto).
  • 2012-2013 Principal Investigator: Cultures, Identities, and Voices: An Exploratory Study on the Growing Up Experiences, Relationships and Sexual Health of Asian young women in Toronto, funded by Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University ($4,999).
  • 2011-2014 Co-Principal Investigator: CHAMP: Community Champions HIV/AIDS Advocates Mobilization Project - A Community-based Intervention Study, funded by CIHR - HIV/AIDS Community-based Research Grant ($375,000). Nominated PI: Dr. A. Li; Co-PI: Dr. K. Fung (Toronto)
  • 2012-2013 Co-Principal Investigator: Scoping review: Determining the components of a trauma-informed intervention to improve the mental well-being of IRN PHAs, funded by CIHR Social Research Centre in HIV Prevention ($21,391). Co-PIs: M. Umana; W. Tharao; Drs. C. Logie and M. Loutfy (Toronto).
  • 2011-2012 Co-Investigator: Asian Migrant Farm Workers in Ontario: HIV Knowledge, Practices and Health Care Utilization, funded by Ontario HIV Treatment Network, CBR Capacity Building Funding ($25,000). Nominated PI: Dr. N. Sutdhibhasilp; Co-PI: Drs. M. Vahabi and M. Poon (Toronto).
  • 2010-2012 Co-investigator: The Ontario Women’s Study: What Women Have to Say about HIV Prevention? Implications for Policy and Program Development. Funded by Ontario HIV Treatment Network ($278,000). Nominated PI: Dr. L. Leonard (Ottawa); Co-PIs: Drs. C. A. Amaratunga; M. Millson; M. Loutfy; R. Remis.
  • The Collaborative Research Award, Ryerson University, 2019
  • The Social Innovation & Action Research Award, Ryerson University, 2016
  • Community Partnership Award (Research, Policy & Practice), Ontario AIDS Network, 2015
  • Sue Williams Excellence in Teaching Award, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University, 2014
  • Dean’s Scholarly Research & Creativity Award, Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University, 2013
  • OHTN-CIHR New Investigator Salary Award, 2013-2019
  • CIHR-Institute of Gender and Health Doctoral Fellowship, 2006-2009
  • CIHR – Health Care, Technology & Place Doctoral Fellowship, 2006-2008